Archive for January, 2013

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Remarks at Signing of the Declaration of Learning


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ben Franklin Room
Washington, DC
January 30, 2013

Thank you. Thank you all very, very much. This is one of the last events that I will have the great honor of doing as Secretary of State, and I can’t imagine a more important one, because of what this means for our ability to reach out and connect with not only our own students, but all of our citizens and people across the world.

I want to thank Marcee for her stewardship of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms. I want to thank Ambassador Capricia Marshall, our Head of Protocol. They have spearheaded what we call the Patrons of Diplomacy, and a number of you were part of that campaign and generously supported it. With your help, we established a permanent endowment to care for these rooms and their collections. And today, we launch this partnership to share them with the world.

Now, we have the centerpiece of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms here, as Marcee was telling you – the desk on which our founders signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War with Britain and forever sealing our independence. Now, we rarely move this desk – (laughter) – from its spot in the John Quincy Adams Room just two doors away. We never move it off the 8th floor. We spent more time worrying about moving the desk – (laughter) – than we have probably on anything else in the last month.

So unfortunately, except for the thousands who availed themselves of the wonderful tours that we run here, very few people have actually seen it for themselves. But the Declaration of Learning I am about to sign will help transport the story and the significance of this desk along with many other pieces of our history to anyone with an internet connection.

Now, for educators, this partnership will offer valuable resources for students and all the lifelong learners out there. It will help bring history to life and, we hope, inspire them to learn and achieve even more. Some of the students who will explore the Diplomatic Reception Rooms online may even become interested in a career in diplomacy. So I want to thank all the institutions that are active partners in this ambitious initiative, the leaders who have committed the time and resources, and the many team members who will help make this goal a reality.

And I particularly want to thank all of our Patrons of Diplomacy. You really saw our vision. You have worked to realize that vision. We are immensely grateful. And our partners have selected diplomacy as the first topic for this collaboration because, after all, diplomacy is not something that is confined to the State Department or reserved for special occasions. In this complicated, connected world, diplomacy is a daily practical occurrence. It’s about people learning from each other and building understandings through the kinds of interactions that happen millions of times each day in person and online. In fact, I think we need to practice diplomacy from the lunch table to the board room to the government offices.

These rooms hold special significance for me. They have certainly been the backdrops for hundreds of diplomatic initiatives and celebrations and events every year. I’ve greeted heads of state, royalty, a fair number of celebrities. We’ve hosted peace talks, we’ve held strategic dialogues, we’ve opened the doors of the State Department to people from all over the world. And every time I see Ben Franklin up there watching over us, I’m reminded of the deep diplomatic history that we have built from our very beginnings. So it’s been a tremendous honor for me to be part of that history and to share the stories and even some of the lessons of American diplomacy with a global audience.

So now, I’d like to invite the leaders of our 13 institutional partners to stand with me as I sign this Declaration of Learning. We’ll take some pictures. After I sign it, we’ll all be able to take a deep collective breath out because the desk will be fine. (Laughter.) That is our plan and what we have prepared for, but please join me.

(The declaration was signed.)


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Public Schedule for January 30, 2013

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
January 30, 2013




9:45 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the Management Team, at the Department of State.

10:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the signing of the “Declaration of Learning,” at the Department of State. Please click here for more information.

10:45 a.m. Secretary Clinton holds a final town hall meeting with Department of State personnel, at the Department of State.

12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton has lunch with President Obama in the Private Dining Room of The White House.

2:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade, at the Department of State.

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Interview With Andrea Mitchell of NBC


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 29, 2013

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you so much for joining us. Important moment as you leave this office. Are you thinking about your legacy? Henry Kissinger negotiated peace with Vietnam; Jim Baker had Middle East accords; of course, there was the Marshall Plan with George Marshall. What do you want your legacy to be?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Andrea, I think given the inheritance we had when we came into office in this Administration, we had an overwhelming imperative to restore American leadership. It was in question, and it was in part because of political decisions that had been made prior to the Obama Administration, but also because of the economic crisis, and the feeling that somehow, America had caused this.

And so part of the responsibility I had was to go out, fly the flag, restore that confidence, make it clear that our leadership was intact, to set the table for the pivot to Asia, to dealing with the Arab revolution, to restoring really close relationships with our partners in Europe, looking to enhance the neighborhood in Latin America. And on so many issues, whether it was putting together international coalitions with Iran and North Korea, figuring out what to do with Libya that would bring an unprecedented coalition between NATO and Arab countries, or whether it was just looking down the road at how we were doing diplomacy and introducing new tools into that mix, it was a very different time than 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago.

I’ve kidded our mutual friend, Henry Kissinger; think of how impossible it would have been for him to sneak off to China in an age of cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, everything else. It is a time that is testing us. I think we are passing the test, and quite comfortably, but the whole world scene is one now that is so quickly changing and challenging us that the traditional mode of doing diplomacy is not enough for what we face.

QUESTION: What do you think didn’t go well? What went wrong?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Benghazi went wrong. That was a terrible example of trying to get the right balance between being in a threatening place or not being there, looking after American interests, which meant keeping an eye on the militants and extremists who we knew were reconstituting themselves in eastern Libya, trying to track down MANPADS that could get into the wrong hands, and unfortunately, many have.

So you are constantly making a calculus how you balance all of this off. And because there is no part of the world that is irrelevant to the United States anymore – I mean, how – when I came into office, did we worry about governments changing in North Africa and the Middle East? Did we worry about a place called Mali becoming a potential safe haven for terrorists? Did we think that we could get an opening in Burma that would begin to change the configuration of Southeast Asia? And I could go on and on.

There are things that you know you always have to deal with – the threat of nuclear weapons and their spread, the threat of extremism and its incredible dangers, and on and on. Those are the challenges. But then you have to also respond to the crises of the moment, do everything you can to manage them, and then you have to take a longer view at what are the trend lines, what is technology going to do to us, what is climate change going to do to us, what are we going to do to enhance the roles and rights of women and girls, because that will provide more stability. And so it’s a fascinating time to have this job.

QUESTION: When you took responsibility and you told the Senate and the House that you took responsibility for Benghazi, and you said you get more than a million cables to the State Department a year – they’re all addressed to you – but in retrospect, shouldn’t a cable warning of a security threat from an ambassador in a conflict zone – shouldn’t that get the highest possible attention immediately?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s what we’re hoping to make sure does happen in the future. The security professionals get it right far more than they get it wrong. We have a long list of attacks averted, assassination plots broken up, and so much. So I have a great deal of confidence in them.

But it’s an institution of human beings, nearly 70,000 of them. And as the Accountability Review Board said, there were some wrong decisions made, and unfortunately, we suffered grievous losses.

QUESTION: I was with you in 1995 in Beijing when you said famously that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.


QUESTION: Is that a big part of your legacy here, the first ambassador, and now institutionalizing that? But do you have concerns also, I should add, that as we withdraw from Afghanistan, for instance, that the Taliban will force a serious erosion, if not a complete erosion, of women’s rights?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, on the first point, I do value it as part of my legacy because I think it’s common sense. I think if we don’t pay attention to the lives and roles of women, we will pay a price. And it’s not just a political price or a security threat that we have to contend with; it’s economic. I mean, the World Bank and so many other research organizations have made it abundantly clear the world economy would be recovering faster if barriers to women’s participation were torn down.

When it comes to Afghanistan, I worry constantly about what happens there for everyone, but in particular for women and girls. We’ve made a lot of advances. A far greater number of girls are going to school. Women are running businesses, practicing their professions. But there is a very large group of women who mostly are in the countryside or in settings where the theories and practices of including women are not accepted.

And I worry particularly about extremist groups, fanatics, who shoot teenage girls because they want to go to school. That is just beyond my comprehension, but I know it happens because I deal with it every day. We have a long way to go – and it’s not only in Afghanistan – in many parts of the world. The deprivation women face, the discrimination, the abuse, rape as a tool of war, sexual violence as a means of keeping women in their place – we have a lot of work to do, and I’m determined to continue that when I leave.

QUESTION: Do you think in retrospect, that in the Middle East, the Administration took too hard a line on the settlements with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the first year, then recalibrated, but by then, the atmosphere was bad? And there has been not as much progress as many would like in the Middle East Israeli-Palestinian track.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. Well, I think this is unfinished work and it must continue, and I know John Kerry wants to work on this area.

But I want to just step back for a minute. Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to a 10-month settlement freeze. It wasn’t everything, but it was unprecedented. I flew to Jerusalem, stood on a stage with him late at night, and really gave him credit for taking a step no prior prime minister ever had. We thought – the Israelis and we – that this would open the door to serious negotiations with our Palestinian counterparts. That didn’t happen until literally the last month of the settlement freeze.

And it just shows how difficult it is for both sides to really act at the same time. And it’s something that I have thought a lot about because, of course, I lived through it when my husband tried at Camp David. We have seen other administrations, particularly going back to the Carter Administration, make some progress with Egypt, or what my husband did with Jordan, getting peace treaties with states.

But when it comes to this very difficult situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there is an enormous amount of work to do. And I try to make the point that the Palestinians deserve their state. Their aspirations should be recognized. Under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, they’ve made a lot of progress in the West Bank. But they have to make some compromises. That’s how you get agreements. And with the Israelis, they deserve to have a secure state that has borders that are respected, and they don’t have to worry about rockets that are fired at them all day every day. But they too have to figure out how to work that out with a partner who is still committed to a two-state solution.

So there have been decades of missed opportunities, of disappointments, but I come from the school that believes you have to keep trying. You get up every day no matter how difficult it is, because the alternative is a vacuum which is not good for Israel and not good for those Palestinians who still believe in a two-state solution.

QUESTION: And arguably, it’s a lot harder because of the Arab Spring and all the other events that happened. In retrospect, was there a lot of disagreement in the team about how to handle Mubarak? And do you think that it sent a signal to other allies – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain – that we’re not going to be there for them? Did it unsettle other parts of the world?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that it was an inevitable force of history that when Egyptian people were rising up in such large numbers asking for what we believe in – freedom and opportunity, a chance to chart their own democratic future – the United States cannot and should not be on the side of those who deny that. At the same time, I think there was a tremendous effort made to try to work with, send messages to President Mubarak and those around him to handle the situation in a fashion that would create some openings for real reform going forward, but that turned out not to be possible.

QUESTION: Now, that brings to mind the 2008 campaign commercial: “When that phone call rings at 3 o’clock in the morning, who should – who’s best prepared to answer it,” in 2016?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is to be decided by the American people, but one thing I’ve learned is that the phone rings day and night. (Laughter.) There’s not one hour.

QUESTION: It’s not just 3 o’clock in the morning.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Particularly because it is 3 o’clock in the morning somewhere every day somewhere else when you’re sitting here. So I think that the American people have to decide what will be our posture, the form of our leadership, what is the amount of involvement, militarily, diplomatically. And that’s a long way off.

QUESTION: What factors will go into making your decision? How much will health – your own personal health – you ran a hundred miles an hour for all of these years, and in some way perhaps that contributed to what happened. How does your feeling about your health care – we know that you’ve had at least two clots – how does that factor into a decision about whether to run for president and all the flying that that entails?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it doesn’t factor in at all. I mean, that – I have no doubt that I’m healthy enough and my stamina is great enough and I’ll be fully recovered to do whatever I choose to do. But I don’t have any decisions made. I have no real plans to make any such decisions. I’m looking forward to some very quiet time, catching up on everything from sleep to reading to walking with my family. I think it’s hard to imagine, for me, what it’ll be like next week when I wake up, I have nowhere to go, and maybe I’ll go back to sleep for a change. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Are you convinced that the original fall that led to the concussion – are you convinced that that fall was caused by dehydration? Have your doctors ruled out any vascular —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, yeah, it was a virus. I had a vicious viral attack that caused all of the unpleasant things that viruses can cause these days. And on top of being dehydrated, I fell and had a concussion. But that happens, unfortunately, all too often to people, and I’ve certainly gained a great deal of knowledge and sympathy for people who go through that, whether it’s on the athletic field or the battlefield or in your bathroom, as it was for me.

QUESTION: In 2012, in December, you told my friend, Barbara Walters, that you had no intention of running for president.


QUESTION: That brought to mind – it sounded familiar, so we looked it up. In December of 2001, you told Tim Russert you had no intention of running for president. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I didn’t. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: So things change. But do you feel that Joe Biden, as the Vice President, has the right of first refusal, as it were, within the party? Or is it an open competition if you decide to run?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, American politics is always an open competition. But I have no position on any of this. I have no opinion about it. I’m still Secretary of State. I can’t really engage in politics. And for the foreseeable future, I don’t think that I will be at all political because there’s just so much else I need to do. I need to determine my philanthropic activities, I’m probably going to write and speak, and that’s going to keep me more than occupied.

QUESTION: Now, there are two PACs already, though, actively engaged.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I just learned that.

QUESTION: And we also just learned that supporters of President Obama’s helped retire your campaign debt and left you, in fact, with a quarter-of-a-million-dollar surplus. So is that another thank-you from —


QUESTION: Does that signal how close you’ve become despite the past campaign?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think the President said it very well. I mean, we’ve not only been great partners and colleagues, but friends. And I am so grateful for that because it’s been an extraordinary experience working with him, being in his Cabinet, thinking through a lot of these very difficult decisions, some of them truly unprecedented, unpredicted that we’ve had to contend with. So I’m grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to helping him in whatever way I can as I leave this office.

QUESTION: And when he and you both acknowledge that your staffs and your spouses took a little bit longer to heal, what was the breakthrough, the turning point for President Clinton and President Obama, do you think?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that Bill certainly worked very hard for the President in the ’08 general election. He also consulted with the White House on some of the economic issues and was very committed to being as good a supporter as he possibly could and they just got to know each other more than they ever had before. I don’t think that there had been an opportunity for them to do that before this last four years.

QUESTION: Well, it’s been virtually a million miles and 112 countries, and a lot of years and shared fun and travail.


QUESTION: And we congratulate you, and we thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Andrea.

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Interview With Michele Kelemen of NPR


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 29, 2013



QUESTION: Very good. Well, I do want to talk. We have so much to talk about and not much time, I know. But I want to begin with Benghazi. You’ve talked about Benghazi as one of your lasting regrets. Your review board outlined systemic failures of the State Department, but I wonder whether you also see it as an intelligence failure. I mean, the U.S. was really taken by surprise by this attack, even though, as we now know, there was a large CIA presence in Benghazi at this annex that was – that took mortar fire.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think the Accountability Review Board addressed that. Certainly, there was no specific intelligence-based threat that was conveyed to us, but there was an evaluation of the threat environment that we were trying to deal with by helping the Libyans build up their own security. But ultimately, I think we all have to do a better job. The threats have evolved. We’ve seen different kinds of threats affect our military, affect our intelligence community and affect our diplomats. So I think we’ll do our part here in the State Department to try to implement all of the recommendations, and we’ll work with our partners in the government to just make sure that we’re not missing anything going forward.

QUESTION: And in addition to Benghazi, we’ve seen this extremist takeover in northern Mali, this deadly hostage raid in Algeria. There seem to be connections among all of these groups that were involved. So what more does the U.S. have to do to get a handle on this really regional threat?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. Well, Michele, I think that it’s going to take some time to sort out what these governments are able to do to secure their own borders and protect their own people. The Arab revolutions and the new efforts to build democracies are not well established yet. So we have a multitude of challenges that we’re meeting simultaneously. We’re trying to work with the governments, and some are willing but not capable; some are capable but sometimes less than willing. We have extremist groups that have been driven out of the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the safe havens in Pakistan in large measure because of our relentless efforts against them. They have taken up arms again in North Africa and they pose a new threat. And the takeover of the gas facility in Algeria is an example of that.

We have faced all kinds of threats over many years, obviously. It takes a while to calibrate exactly how we’re going to put together the package that we need to respond, but we’re in the midst of doing that with likeminded nations in the region and beyond.

QUESTION: I’d like to turn to Syria because your critics describe Syria as this Administration’s Rwanda. And I wonder how it weighs on you and what more the U.S. could have done to prevent the deaths of now 60,000 people.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s not a historically accurate analogy. Rwanda was particularly dreadful because it was largely unarmed people being slaughtered in huge numbers in a very short period of time, despite the presence of a UN mission in Rwanda. Syria is much more complex, much more riven by geographic and other differences among the population. You have a well-equipped military going after what started out to be largely unarmed, peaceful protestors, now pockets of armed resistance all over the country.

I think the United States has done a great deal. We are responsible for driving through sanctions against Assad that have really limited his capacity to replenish his coffers and to provide funding needed to keep his military machine going. We have helped to stand up an opposition that was notably absent in the beginning of this conflict. It wasn’t like other places where there were preexisting, well-organized entities that stepped into the breach. We’ve had to work on that. We’ve become the biggest provider of humanitarian assistance.

And I think there is a lot of concern, not just by the United States but by other countries as well. I mean, we are certainly not alone in being cautious about what more we can do without causing more death and more destruction, and the unintended consequences of helping to foment an even more deadly civil war. No one is in any way satisfied with what the United States or the entire world community has done, which is why we keep pressing for UN action and keep being disappointed and blocked by the Russians.

QUESTION: The Russians do continue to block meaningful action. Lakhdar Brahimi, the international envoy, talked about how Syria is breaking up before everyone’s eyes. Is there a diplomatic solution, or is this going to be resolved by guys with guns and more radicalized?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I had hope there was. I hammered out an agreement in Geneva last summer, largely negotiating with Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia. I thought it was pretty clear what our next steps would be. And certainly from my perspective, the Russians were unwilling to go forward. We had made it our position that we would not open the door to military action, but we wanted to take political action, economic action through the Security Council. I had reason to believe that we would be going to the Security Council to do that; and unfortunately, once again, the Russians sided with Assad, who knew that if we were able to implement the Geneva agreement that we had negotiated, that that would send a very clear signal that Assad was being isolated even further – a signal to those around him, a signal to his troops, a signal to the region. And I think the Russians decided that they would still support him much to the great loss of the Syrian people.

QUESTION: You spent a lot of your time trying to reset that relationship with Russia. There were some early successes, but now we’re at the point where the Russians won’t even let American families adopt Russian children. How do you – what do you say to John Kerry, your successor, about how to deal with this Russian Government and how to deal with this anti-American mood in Moscow?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we did have some very positive achievements in the first term. The New START Treaty was something that we worked very hard on; working with the Russians to get a Northern Distribution Network route to assist us in Afghanistan; finding common cause on the Iranian sanctions and the North Korean sanctions. That was quite an accomplishment, particularly with respect to Iran, because it wasn’t at all clear when I took office that the Russians would ever join in tough sanctions against Iran.

And on a number of other hotspot and long-term issues, we had made progress. I think we just have to wait and see what the real objectives of the new Russian leadership are. We thought it was self-defeating for them to take the actions they did throwing out USAID, which had been working on everything from preventing tuberculosis to setting up the first mortgage companies in Russia. That really hurts the Russian people. We can take our aid money and go elsewhere and help people who welcome us. I thought it was tragic that they stopped adoptions, especially those that were already in train, particularly for children that will never have the opportunity for a family. They will live in orphanages until they’re adults. We know how challenging and tragic that has been.

So I think we have to make it clear that there are certain actions and policies that the United States will pursue because they are in our interest. And we don’t expect Russia to agree with us on everything, but we need to once again be making common cause. For example, we worked well together in the Arctic Council. We helped to come up with the first policy on search-and-rescue. We worked on an oil spill policy. The Arctic is going to be an area of intense interest. Russia has the longest coastline in the world with the Arctic. We can work together there. President Putin is very interested in wildlife conservation, something that I have elevated because we’re seeing organized crime get into wildlife trafficking. So there are issues we will keep working on, but we’ll also draw lines where we disagree and speak out when we must.

QUESTION: I have a couple more questions and I’m getting a one-minute warning, so let me get through a couple more. We’re sitting in this room surrounded by history. There’s Thomas Jefferson’s desk, the Treaty of Paris. And I wonder how, as you sit here, do you think about your place in history and what you hope will be your lasting legacy in this building?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t think like that. I really get up every day and try to deal with the problems that are in front of me and I don’t really worry about history. That will work itself out over time. I think the last four years have been ultimately quite important for the United States to demonstrate that we were going to once again assume a leadership position that was in concert with our values. That was not how America was viewed when I took this office. I think we have set the table for a lot of the difficult issues to be dealt with. There is nothing fast or easy about diplomacy. I have no illusions about that.

And we have brought to the forefront longer-term issues, whether it’s the implications of technology and the role of the internet, cybersecurity, women’s rights, climate change. I’ve worked on all of these because I wanted to be sure that the United States was at the table looking for a way of structuring the legal international frameworks that are going to have to be put into place.

QUESTION: Now, you say you’re not retiring. You say you need to catch up on 20 years of sleep deprivation —

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s true. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: — before you make any decisions on your future. But I wonder, what questions do you need to answer for yourself as you decide whether or not to run again for president?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not even posing those questions. I am really looking forward to stepping off the fast track that I’ve been on. I’ve been out of politics as Secretary of State. I don’t see myself getting back into politics. I want to be involved in philanthropy, advocacy, working on issues like women and girls that I care deeply about. I want to write and speak. I want to work with my husband and my daughter on our mutual foundation interests. So I’m going to have my hands full. I don’t quite know how I’m going to adjust to not having a schedule and a lot of work that is in front of me that is expecting me to respond to minute by minute. But I’m looking forward to that and I have no other plans besides that.

QUESTION: And you look great. How’s your health?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s terrific. I mean, I’m getting very good treatment and getting better, and I’m recovering. It was quite a surprise to me. I’ve been so healthy my entire life. But falling on your head is not something that I hope ever happens to any of your listeners. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Great. Well, thank you so much for your time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Good to talk with yo

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Interview With Greta Van Susteren of FoxNews


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 29, 2013

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, nice to see you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Great to see you, Greta. Thank you.

QUESTION: You okay?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m good. I’m absolutely great. I’m in the final stages of my Secretary of State term, and I’m trying to get everything possibly done that I can.

QUESTION: Did it go fast?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It went really fast. It’s hard to imagine how quickly the time passed. There was so much going on that it was just one thing after another, day after day.

QUESTION: Well, the earth – the earth – the world is still quite turbulent.


QUESTION: And there’s news today about Egypt. And I’m curious, with all the chaos that’s breaking out there, your thoughts on what’s going to happen, what should we do, if anything, and what does it mean for the region?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, those are three really important questions. And I think that post the Arab revolutions that took place in Egypt and Libya and Tunisia and bursts of them elsewhere in the region, there was always going to be a period of adjustment. And what we have to work for, along with the international community, as well as people inside Egypt, is not to see these revolutions hijacked by extremists, not to see the return of dictatorial rule, the absence of the rule of law. And it’s hard. It’s hard going from decades under one-party or one-man rule, as somebody said, waking up from a political coma and understanding democracy. So we have a lot at stake in trying to keep moving these transformations in the right direction.

QUESTION: Is President Morsi, though, is he sort of with the program with us, or not? Because he said some horrible things about Israelis two years ago, and there’s some things printed today from one of his senior aides about – that the Holocaust didn’t exist. And so there’s very sort of suspicious things that he’s saying, and with all the turmoil, I’m wondering if he – is he with us or against us?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we were quite concerned about those statements. And the Egyptian Presidency repudiated them and reaffirmed a commitment to the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, which is, of course, absolutely core to everything that we hope to see happen in the Middle East.

But you have to, I think, take a step back and look at the fact that the people now in power in these countries have never been in government, never had a chance to really learn how to run agencies or to make decisions. So we don’t certainly condone or in any way approve of what a lot of these leaders are doing or failing to do, but we also know how important it is that we try to avoid even more extreme elements which are active across the region, taking control of territory, even threatening a regime, where the people are often American-educated, have some ongoing commitment to make tough decisions. When I negotiated the ceasefire in Gaza with President Morsi, he was very involved. I’d obviously gone to Israel first, then I went to Egypt and we got it done. It’s still holding.

So we have to keep pushing forward and yet call it like we see it when we think something is not appropriate, as we did with those statements.

QUESTION: When you met him, did you have a sense that he was a good partner or someone that we could deal with, or do we have to sort of be very cautious with him?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think he has a lot of the right intentions. Certainly in my long conversations with him, the many reports of meetings that I’ve received of other American officials, a recent congressional delegation, you do get the impression that he and the team around him are trying to deal with the economy that is in very bad shape in Egypt, the loss of foreign currency and investment and the tourism trade, the political reforms that are necessary.

But the jury’s out, Greta. I’ve been around long enough, so it’s not what somebody says; it’s what they do. And some of what he’s done we have approved of and supported; and some of what he’s done, like abrogating a lot of power unto himself personally, reinstating emergency law provisions that had been a hallmark of the Mubarak regime, are very troubling. And we have a balancing act to do, as do the Egyptian people, as to how this is going to turn out.

QUESTION: Now, I’m very suspicious of him because he had – he invited President Bashir of Sudan and essentially gave him a state visit to Egypt a couple of months ago when he should’ve been, at least in my view – he’s under indictment of the International Criminal Court; he should’ve been arrested. So I mean, anyone who’s sort of lending a hand to President Bashir and not arresting him made me suspicious of him, in light of the fact that Iran is up to their eyeballs with Sudan.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, unfortunately, that’s not an uncommon story across the African continent. And we have reached out numerous times to countries that have given Bashir a welcome, allowed him to come to meetings, because he is under indictment and he does need to be held accountable for what happened on his watch as president.

On the other hand, though, this is a long border with Egypt. One of the biggest problems that Egypt is facing is a lack of border security – the importation of weapons on their way to Gaza, for example, coming out of Sudan.

So we have a lot of very intense discussions with our Egyptian counterparts, including him, as to, let’s prioritize. We need to stop extremism in Egypt. We need to stop weapons coming across your border. We need to reassert order in the Sinai. It’s in Egypt’s interest, it’s in Israel’s interest. We need to try to stop Hamas from its constant attacks on Israel, something that also redounds to the detriment of Egypt over the long run because it could become uncontrollable. We have a long list of important issues that we’re raising with them, and obviously their borders with Libya and Sudan are critical.

QUESTION: Your predecessor, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, said the other night that Iran – if Iran gets a nuclear weapon that it is a turning point in history. And everybody lives in fear, but whether it’s President Obama has said things, you’ve said things, your predecessors, Prime Minister Netanyahu. No one wants Iran to have a nuclear weapon. But as we all sort of say that, they’re marching forward in time. What’s going to happen there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you know, our policy is prevention, not containment, and we have, through the hard work we’ve undertaken with the international community, imposed the toughest set of sanctions – international and bilateral – on any country. We know it’s having an effect. We have a great deal of evidence about the economic impact that the sanctions are having on the Iranian economy and therefore on the political and clerical leadership.

Now, part of what we have to continue to do is keep them isolated; keep all the countries, including Russia and China, onboard, as they have been up to now. So we’ve said from the very beginning, we’re open to diplomacy. We are doing so in the so-called P-5+1 format. But this is an unacceptable path that they must stop or action will have to be taken. At this point, we are continuing to keep the pressure on them in the pressure track, and making it clear that there’s not going to be any alternative but to deny them a nuclear weapons program.

QUESTION: I’m not suggesting we have a military action against them. I’m more just sort of looking at it from afar, and I see a country that, first of all, yes, we do have sanctions on it, but we do give waivers to some countries. I mean, some countries get to do business with them a little bit, so it’s not a completely hermetically sealed country. They do get some relief. But the other thing is that they’re behind problems in Syria, they’re behind problems with Hezbollah, with Hamas, and they’re destabilizing to Israel, saying hateful things to Israel. We’re busy trying to contain them but we may be on a different time track than their nuclear weapons program. I mean, they – it may be a faster program. I don’t know that it is.

So there is going to come a time when we’re going to have to – we might have to make a different decision.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’ve always said all options are on the table. The President has been very clear about that. And I’m glad you raised the terrorism aspect of Iran’s behavior, because there’s so much attention on the effort to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon that we sometimes overlook the very active efforts by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the Qods Force, their proxies like the Lebanese Hezbollah and others, who have engaged in assassinations, bombings, destabilizing countries. That has been a very challenging, ongoing threat. And for a while, I have to tell you, when I came into office, there were too many countries that were turning a blind eye to it. We have worked very hard to get the international community, particularly the region, Europe and elsewhere, to say wait a minute, these guys need to be stopped on the terrorism front. They cannot be permitted to go forward.

When we found out about the plot to kill the ambassador from Saudi Arabia —

QUESTION: Here in Washington.

SECRETARY CLINTON: — here in Washington, there was disbelief on the part of a lot of countries, and we produced evidence; this man pled guilty. No one should have any doubt that in addition to the nuclear threat, which I agree with Dr. Kissinger is a potential turning point in history, not only because of what it would mean to Iran’s attempt to intimidate their neighbors, but the arms race that it would instigate, but we have to also keep an eye on stopping them from their terrorism.

QUESTION: How did they get the money to do that? If we have sanctions on them and if they’re behind supplying weapons, or as the Yemen boat that was picked up the other day, and behind Hezbollah and Hamas, where are they getting the money? Is it from Russia or – to help – to fund these terrorists?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they are a rich country. They have a lot of economic wealth and strength that has been built up over many years. These sanctions are truly biting, but there are outlier countries that still try to evade the efforts that we all have made to make it as difficult as possible to do business with them. And we’ve shut down a lot of financial institutions, we have changed the behaviors of a lot of governments and others who thought they could get away with it, but there are still rogue nations, there are still countries that are totally dependent upon Iranian resources.

So I think we’ve done a very credible job of toughening and tightening the sanctions, but there’s more to come. We’ll be issuing more sanctions, identifying more people, but ultimately what we want to see is Iran come to the negotiating table in the P-5+1 format and basically say they’re going to have the most open inspections, they’re not pursuing nuclear weapons. They claim that they’re not. They keep referring to the religious fatwa that the Supreme Leader issued, that they’re not pursuing nuclear weapons.

QUESTION: You don’t believe that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m from the trust-but-verify camp when it comes to Iran. This is what they say, they continue to say it, but we have a body of evidence that points in the other direction. I mean, if that is true, then why are they developing a missile program that has intercontinental ballistic capacity? Why are they adding centrifuges and more enriched uranium as a result? So they owe the international community – not just the United States – they owe the Security Council of the United Nations, they owe the International Atomic Energy Agency, they owe the EU and many others an explanation as to what it is they’re doing if they claim they’re not pursuing nuclear weapons.

QUESTION: Two part question, Benghazi. Number one is: In light of what’s happened, can Americans now feel safe or satisfied that we are moving to secure all our consulates and embassies for our diplomats overseas? That’s the first thing. The second thing is: Should we go back to Benghazi?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, to answer the first question, the Accountability Review Board made a set of recommendations. We are embracing and implementing all of them and making sure that we apply them. Now, it’s not all a question of money. I’m the first to say that. You have to have the right people in the right jobs making the right decisions. But money is a factor, and ever since the Bush Administration, our requests for security money from Congress have not been met, so you’ve had to make priority decisions, and it’s been difficult. So I am determined to leave the State Department safer and stronger when I walk out the door, and I know that John Kerry will just pick up the ball and run with it.

With respect to do we go back, let me explain why we were there. This was the heart of the Libyan revolution. We knew that there were dangerous people in and around Benghazi. We also knew that there were a lot of loose weapons, and part of what we were doing there was trying to get leads on recovering those loose weapons, and we knew that there were smuggling routes that could go into Egypt, into Sinai, threaten Israel. So there were very important reasons why we were there, not just the State Department, but other government agencies. Whether or when we go back will depend upon the security situation and what kind of security support diplomats would have.

But I hasten to add, Greta, that I have dangerous posts all over the world. We have people in incredibly high-threat environments.

QUESTION: I’ve seen some of them.

SECRETARY CLINTON: You have seen some of them, and they’re there because we believe their being there is in America’s national interests, particularly our security interests.

QUESTION: What about the women of Afghanistan? What can they expect as we leave?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they’re going to have to be given support from their own government and people as well as the international community.

QUESTION: It’s grim for them.

SECRETARY CLINTON: For a lot of women, life is much better. Girls are in school who never were before. Women are able to practice their professions and pursue their businesses. So for an increasing group of Afghan women, life is better. Still, there are all kinds of discrimination and difficulties, but for a large group of rural women, life has not changed very much. And what I worry about is that the security situation will keep a total lid on the aspirations and education of the rural women and begin to intimidate and drive out of the public space women who have seen their lives improve. And I think it’s incumbent upon us and all the nations that have been in Afghanistan to do everything we can to prevent that from happening.

QUESTION: I’m getting the time signal, but I’m going to go over and probably get in trouble with your staff, but – (laughter) – we always see Secretary of State, we see your very public role, and I know the last four years have been a real high. Chelsea Clinton got married during the last four years, but also your biggest supporter, your biggest fan, Dorothy Rodham, your mother, who was a big role model to you, and all of us in Washington who knew her – she was a real character – she died during these four years. So there’s highs and lows.

SECRETARY CLINTON: There are, and my mother really enjoyed the company of you and your husband, and she was, at the age of 90-plus, so vital, so interested in people. She taught me so many lessons, and I miss her every day, because I was fortunate that she was living with us here in Washington. So I got to see her every night I could come home or when I came back from a trip, and she was always so interested in what we were doing and what I had seen. I was lucky to have her for so long.

QUESTION: She was a character.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I know. She was a character, overcame so many hurdles in her own life and just shared her love and her intelligence and her curiosity not only with us, her children, but everybody she met.

QUESTION: Indeed. Anyway, Madam Secretary, thank you very much. Nice to see you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good to see you, Greta. Thank you.


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Interview With Elise Labott and Jill Dougherty of CNN


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 29, 2013

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for talking with CNN. I was thinking I’ve been following you around for 20 years reporting on you.


QUESTION: And Elise and I have been on the plane flying around with you for four years, so it’s very nice to be here to talk with you at this turning point in your life.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. And thanks to both of you. I’ve enjoyed having you be part of the flying circus and traverse the globe, and appreciate the attention that CNN pays to international news stories. It makes a big difference.

QUESTION: It’s great to hear that.

QUESTION: Thanks for coming on.

QUESTION: Well, in typical CNN style, let’s begin with the news. Egypt.


QUESTION: Turmoil.


QUESTION: Sixteen people approximately, dead. The head of the army says that the state could actually fall apart, disintegrate. Is he right?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I hope not because I think that would lead to incredible chaos and violence on a scale that would be devastating for Egypt and the region. But there has to be some understanding by the new government that the aspirations that the people were expressing during the revolution in Egypt have to be taken seriously. And it cannot in any way be overlooked that there is a large number of Egyptians who are not satisfied with the direction of the economy and the political reform.

This is not an easy task. I have to jump in and say that we can sit here and talk about it from a distance. It’s very difficult going from a closed regime and essentially one-man rule to a democracy that is trying to be born and learn to walk. But there are some clear lessons. You have to represent all of the people, and the people have to believe that. You have to have the rule of law that applies to everyone, not just to some of the people. You have to have a constitution that respects and recognizes the rights of all people and doesn’t in any way marginalize any group. So I think the messages and the actions coming from the leadership have to be changed in order to give people confidence that they’re on the right path to the kind of future they seek.

QUESTION: Let’s move to Benghazi. There have been a lot of questions. You’ve answered a lot of questions, but there’s one in particular. The signs were there. The British Ambassador had been attacked. The walls of the Embassy had been breached. Why didn’t you connect the dots, ask the question: Wasn’t it too dangerous for Chris Stevens, the ambassador who was one of the most valuable people you had in that region? Why didn’t you ask those questions?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we were certainly aware of the increasing threat environment. I not only was briefed on that, I testified to that effect. And there were constant evaluations going on. But no one – not the Ambassador, security professionals, the intelligence community – ever recommended closing that mission. And the reason they didn’t was because the ongoing threat environment had, up until the spring before our terrible attack in Benghazi, been a result of post-conflict conditions. That is something that we’re familiar with all over the world. Yes, there were some attacks, as you have said, but our evaluation of them and the recommendation by the security professionals was that those were all manageable, because we have a lot of that around the world. I mean, there is a long list of attacks that have been foiled, assassination plots that have been prevented. So this is not some one-off event. This is considered in an atmosphere of a lot of threats and dangers.

And at the end of the day, there was a decision made that this would be evaluated but it would not be closed. And unfortunately, we know what happened.

QUESTION: Quick question on the Middle East peace process. Kerry, the new – who will soon be taking your place, is saying that there should be a new approach. What could he possibly do? I mean, that almost sounds like it’s a criticism of the given policy that you have right now.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I don’t think that’s at all what John Kerry was referring to. First of all, there was just an election in Israel where the makeup of the government is likely to change. Certainly the makeup of the Knesset has changed. What new opportunities does that present? There is constant pressure on the Palestinian Authority. There are continuing threats to Israel’s security from Hamas. There is Syria right on the border that is a very dangerous environment. There is a new regime in Egypt that is constantly being evaluated. So you have to always say to yourself: What can we do and what opportunities are there? And I think if you look at the potential list of changes, it certainly is appropriate for soon-to-be Secretary Kerry to go test that out, to try to figure out is there some other way forward.

And I fully support that. I’m someone who believes strongly that no matter how difficult the road is to try to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians together, you must always try. And if there are new on-ramps and off-ramps and opportunities, use them and see whether you can make even incremental progress, which would be very important to send a message to those Palestinians that still believe in the two-state solution, they are the ones who should be listened to, and send a message to Israelis that their security and stability is paramount and there are ways that they can enhance it by engaging with the Palestinians.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I want to read you the headline of an article in the LA Times today. It said, “Hillary Clinton’s Legacy at State: Splendid but not Spectacular.” (Laughter.) That you were hugely popular in this Administration and around the world, but some of these big-ticket items that we’ve been mentioning, particularly the Middle East, Iran, North Korea, not solved, still intractable, and maybe even worse in some instances. Is that how you see your legacy, hugely popular but didn’t solve these horrible issues?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that could be said about nearly every administration and certainly every Secretary of State, because when you come into office you inherit the world that it is in reality, not the way you wish it would be. And I think we have to go back to my beginning in January of 2009 to remember how poorly perceived the United States was, how badly damaged our reputation was, how our leadership was in question, how the economic crisis had really shaken people’s confidence in our government, our economic system, our country. Part of my job in the very beginning was to get around the world and restore confidence in American leadership, sometimes against some pretty tough odds because there were a lot of people pointing fingers at us, particularly over the financial crisis.

But it was important to stabilize the situation, which I think we did. I know the President was talking about that in an interview we did the other day, that – let’s be realistic here about what the conditions were. We had the war in Iraq that had to be wound down. We had a troop request for 30,000 troops sitting on the President’s desk the first day he walked into office. We had so many serious problems.

QUESTION: You had a full plate.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I don’t think anybody can argue with what we did to try to set the table. And then what did we do with that? You can go down the list, and whether it’s how we handled the Arab Spring and the work that had to be done in order to try to prevent even more serious challenges, how we put together an international coalition to inflict the toughest sanctions on Iran and North Korea, not that those are solved. But diplomacy is sometimes building on steps one after the other – opening to Burma, pivoting to Asia, working to really strengthen our ties in Europe and Latin America and Africa. I’m very proud of what we’ve done.

But equally so, we began to practice diplomacy in a different way – not that we jettisoned everything that had been done before, but we added new tools in the toolbox. We also expanded the aperture. Let’s look at what technology can do for us. Don’t forget women and girls; they’re half the population, right?

QUESTION: Well, let me ask you about women, Madam Secretary. You broke a lot of glass ceilings. You brought women a lot in leadership to the State Department. You’ve said this is your life cause to end the double standard. You’ve leaving office – four top positions in this Administration in the cabinet, none of them are women. Is that a problem?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think you have to wait to see the entire makeup of the cabinet —

QUESTION: Top four positions though. The top four secretaries that are considered crucial to this Administration, particularly in national security.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m not going to pass any judgments. I think that what we have to do is take a look at the broad picture. But clearly, from my perspective, we have to keep providing opportunities for young women to get into that pipeline so that they are ready.

QUESTION: There are no women out there for these top positions?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, no. Obviously, I think there are. But I think there is still a ways to go until we have the kind of critical mass that I want to see. And we made progress in the number of women in the Senate, but it is still abysmally small. There are so many – on the one hand this, on the other hand, that. We make progress, there’s no denying that, but we haven’t firmly institutionalized that progress. And as much as we have done here, I look around the world, and my goodness, there is so much to be done.

QUESTION: Well, there are lot of women leaders around the world. In April, you told Wolf Blitzer for 2016, “That’s not in my future.” But you seem to be – I don’t know – (laughter) – like maybe some wiggle room there. Have you decided?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no. I am so looking forward to Monday, when I have no schedule, no office to go to —

QUESTION: You know the field —

SECRETARY CLINTON: — no responsibilities.

QUESTION: I’m sorry, Madam Secretary, you know the party says the field is clear and open for you until you make your decision. Have you decided that you absolutely will not run?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have absolutely no plans to run.

QUESTION: But look at – (laughter) – you’re not saying – this is not a Shermanesque statement, “I will not run.” We heard this morning all of these people asking you if you can run. There’s a PAC just registered Ready for Hillary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Is there really?

QUESTION: Are you going to tell these people to stand down?


QUESTION: Everyone is waiting for that —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right now, I am trying to finish my term as Secretary of State. And the President and I had a good laugh the other night because I am out of politics right now. And I don’t know everything I’ll be doing. I’ll be working on behalf of women and girls, I’ll be hopefully writing and speaking. Those are the things that I’m planning to do right now.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about when you said “that Monday morning” – we presume next week.


QUESTION: Okay, you wake up. (Laughter.) Maybe you stay in your pajamas. What do you do?

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Jill. I don’t know. It’s been my whole life. I mean, I’ve had a job ever since I was 13 years old. When I wasn’t in school, I was working, so —

QUESTION: But is it going to be traumatic? I mean – your Blackberry, are you going to check —

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t know. This is – I think it’s going to take some adjustment. I’ve been talking to colleagues who left the government earlier. And the most common thing they say to me is, “Don’t make any decisions. You have no idea how tired you are.” And I think there’s truth to that. Your viewers know, because they’re interested in these issues, this is a 24/7 job because there’s no part of the world we can ignore. Maybe four years, eight years, twelve years, certainly twenty, thirty, forty years, there were big chunks of the world that were not of direct interest to our security or other matters that we were concerned about.

QUESTION: But how did you get the energy – I mean, are you going to be able to stop? Are you going to be able to stop?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, you’ll have to talk to me in a few weeks to see how I’m doing. I think that – I’m really looking forward to it. I know it sounds vague, because I have never done this before in my life. So when I wake up, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to have the luxury of nowhere to go, nothing to do, no frantic call about calling some leader about some impending crisis, I’m actually interested to see how that goes.

QUESTION: Now, what about your health? Because I do have to ask you this. We talked with a couple doctors, and they say that if you have had one blood clot, there is two times the chance that you will have another one. I mean, is this something that you’re going to have to deal with for –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, millions of people do. I mean, it’s very common. It’s not —

QUESTION: Will you take medication?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s what people do when they have blood clots. And then you get evaluated after the blood clot has resolved because, as you say, I experienced this before. But I am lucky because I’ve been very healthy. I feel great. I’ve got enormous amounts of energy that have to be harnessed and focused. So I’m very fortunate, and I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life, whatever it is.

QUESTION: Before you leave —


QUESTION: Before you leave —

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Yeah, be subtle, but persistent about it.

QUESTION: (Laughter.) Before you leave, normally a secretary leaves a gift for the next secretary coming in. Can we – can you tell everybody in the world what you —

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, I’m not going to tell you. I’m going to let that be between John and me. John and I have been friends and colleagues for a very long time. And he’s extremely well-prepared, as you know, for this job. And I think he doesn’t need very much gifting, but I’ve got something that might help.

QUESTION: Just one last question about the family. You’ve got President Clinton, international health, you have Chelsea, who studied international health.


QUESTION: You’re interested in women development, health issues.


QUESTION: So what do you do? Are you – is there a chance that you will all work together?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I hope so. I mean, that’s one of the things we have to really work out, is – I’m very proud of what my husband has done in the last ten years. I mean, his foundation, his entrepreneurial philanthropy with the Clinton Global Initiative, his great work on getting the price of AIDs drugs down so that more people could get treatment, and so much else. And he is also focused on the health of children here in this country through the Healthy Alliance. So he’s doing things that resonate with me as well as with him. And we’re going to look to see how we can join our efforts together.

QUESTION: What about Chelsea?


QUESTION: She says she wants to lead a life of public service.


QUESTION: That makes you proud. Is she going to run?

SECRETARY CLINTON: She – no, I don’t know about that.

QUESTION: Family business?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think she is really focused on the philanthropy. She did a great service after Hurricane Sandy. She took a large group, about 1,000 people that were put together through our foundation and through CGI, to go and do a lot of difficult manual work for people who had been just devastated. She and Bill and I, we are – we just have public service in our DNA. That doesn’t have to be political service. It can be what we’re doing now, and what Bill has been doing now. So I think we’ll work all that out. It’s going to be fun to talk it through and figure out what our next adventures might be.

QUESTION: Well, Madam Secretary, thank you very much.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Good luck.

QUESTION: We wish you a lot of good luck.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, thank you.

QUESTION: And a lot of adventures.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think we’ll have some adventures and maybe the two of you can come along again some time.

QUESTION: We’d love that. We’d love that.

QUESTION: It’s a deal.


QUESTION: Thank you.

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There is a lot of empty footage up front.  The action begins after 26:50 so fast forward to there.

Secretary Clinton Holds a Global Townterview


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State


Washington, DC

January 29, 2013

MS. SALES: Hello. I’m Leigh Sales from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Welcome to this town hall-style event with the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has her last day at the State Department this Friday. This is a town hall with a difference though because we have people all around the world ready to ask to questions from Britain to Beirut to Colombia.

Here’s how the event will run in front of our live audience here in the Newseum’s Knight Studio in Washington, D.C. I’ll start the ball rolling with five minutes of discussion with the Secretary, and then we’ll cross to locations around the globe to hear other questions, and we’ll also be taking submissions from social media. Now, of course, live TV is fraught with peril to begin with, but when you throw in six lives satellites around the world, it’s a bit of a high-wire act, so please bear with us if the technology doesn’t quite cooperate as we’d like.

So to start, and for her final town hall, please welcome the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)


MS. SALES: Hi Secretary Clinton. Have a seat.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hello, everyone. Hello.

MS. SALES: Super warm welcome there. This is your 59th event like this, so there’s nothing new I can ask you, is there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I’m sure there is. (Laughter.)

MS. SALES: I’ve had a look at some of the transcripts of previous events like this and you’ve been asked some very funny things, from what was Chelsea’s first word, which was Mommy, for the record, to what you favorite film was. I bet they’re all quite memorable in their own way.

SECRETARY CLINTON: They really are because part of what I’ve tried to do in the last four years is to reach out to people across the world, particularly young people, and I’m so happy to see so many of them here in the Newseum. And for me it’s been a learning experience as well, because as I’ve traveled around doing these – this is the 59th, as you said – of these kinds of events, all over the globe I’ve heard what’s on people’s minds and what their questions were, and so it’s been a great two-way communication.

MS. SALES: I have seen some interesting statistics: You’ve had 1,700 meetings with world leaders, 755 meetings at the White House, 570 airplane meals – (laughter) – and three times caught dancing on camera.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, dear. Yes. (Laughter.) That’s supposed to be erased from the record, you know. (Laughter.)

MS. SALES: Now, in a moment I’m going to throw to questions around the world, as I just explained. But first of all, I just want to us to set the scene a little bit by talking about some of the big foreign policy issues that are around in the news. So let’s start with North Africa, which has been very prominent lately. We’ve seen the Islamist extremists in Algeria, of course the ongoing problems in Libya, the crisis in Mali, in recent days violent protests in Egypt. How much of a global security threat is this region?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Leigh, it is becoming a threat, first and foremost, to the people of the region. This is not what the Arab revolution was about, and there’s a great deal of concern across the region about people who choose to use violence to try to impose their extremist views rather than participate in politics. It does have the potential, however, of expanding beyond the region, which is why I think you’re seeing an international concern and coalition coming together to support the people of Mali, to stand by the Government of Algeria, to work with the Government of Libya, so that they themselves are given the tools they need to combat this extremist threat.

MS. SALES: Has there been an insufficient global focus on that part of the world to now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think historically there has been exactly that, that much of Africa – you can separate North Africa from Sub-Saharan Africa – have not had the kind of attention on a range of issues, whether it’s security or development. But that is changing, and it’s very exciting to me that I think seven of the fastest performing economies in the world now are in Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s also exciting to see people in North Africa, after so many decades of oppression, looking to find their own way forward democratically.

But transformations are never easy and they are never preordained. If North Africa and the fruits of the Arab revolution are to be democracy, prosperity, better opportunities particularly for the young people of the region, the people themselves will have to ensure that. And in Sub-Saharan Africa, helping to improve governance and create more opportunity has been one of my primary goals.

MS. SALES: The world saw your passionate response to a Senate committee last week about what happened in Benghazi. You said that you want the focus to be on making sure that something like that can’t happen again. But is it really possible to prevent things like that from happening?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we live in a dangerous world and it’s unpredictable and complex. I think we in government have to do everything we can to provide as secure conditions as possible for our diplomats, our development experts, in order that we don’t end up in bunkers, abdicating from regions that are important to us. But it’s also now an increasing threat, as we saw with the Algerian hostage taking, to businesses, to cultural institutions. We’ve seen the extremists destroying shrines and libraries that were holding priceless remnants and artifacts that were of great meaning to people. So yes, it’s something we have to deal with, but we have to also be realistic that we live in this dangerous world and we can’t retreat from it.

MS. SALES: When we were watching that hearing, we saw the Republican committee members go on the attack. Is Washington today more bitterly partisan than it was when you were first lady, or has it always been like this and we just have a recency bias?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It has been increasingly partisan. It was 20 years ago, 30 years ago, you can go back in history and see certain constituencies represented in our Congress and our politics certainly squaring off against each other. But it’s become more so, and it’s also resulted in less productivity. You can be partisan, you can have a strong sense of the rightness of your position, but democracy and certainly legislative bodies require compromise. And you can’t let compromise become a dirty word because then you veer toward fanaticism.

I mean, we were just talking about extremists who think it’s only their way, they are the ones who have the truth, none of the rest of us have any kind of claim on what is real in their views. And so it’s important in our democracies – like Australia, like the United States – that yes, be passionate, be intense about your feelings, but at the end of the day you’ve got to serve the people who sent you there, and that requires compromise.

MS. SALES: I think at these events you are always asked a question that involves the year 2016, and so I’m not going to ask it because I think somebody else around the world will. So let’s start our criss-cross discussions around the world with the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation, which is based in Dubai. Presenter Muna AbuSulayman is standing by in Beirut.


MS. ABUSULAYMAN: Hello, hi. I just wanted to tell you thank you for inviting us to this global town hall. We are very happy to be a part of this. We have a lot of Arab students in the studio in Beirut to ask Madam Secretary a few questions. But I want to actually start the ball rolling and ask the first question myself: Madame Secretary, what is your biggest unfulfilled mission in leaving the Department of State?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Muna, it’s wonderful to see you in Beirut and to have the students there with you. Obviously, I want to see peace in the Middle East and I want to see prosperity that includes all people, and I want to see women and girls given their rights and opportunities. So those are three of the pieces of unfinished business.

Now, as a Secretary of State, a diplomat, I know that a lot of the work that I have done is, by its very nature, complicated and difficult. So it’s not a surprise that some of these big issues would be unfinished. But what’s important is that we continue the work and that we build bridges across our world, across cultures and societies, so that we engage in moving toward a better world that will certainly give more opportunity, peace, and prosperity to the young people in your studio.

MS. ABUSULAYMAN: Well, thank you. We all know how much you’ve worked on linking women rights with human rights, so it is quite appreciated in our parts of the world, but I also have a few questions from the students. And the first question is from Haled.

QUESTION: Yes. Good afternoon, Madam Secretary. Haled Kaber from the Lebanese American University.

My question to you, Madam Secretary is: What is your opinion? The main obstacle these opposition-led demonstrations that are being held in the Arab world are facing, is it the lack of clear organization between its members and not having a unified, clear vision for the future of the country? Is it the involvement of international or regional actors, or maybe the actions that are practiced by the ruling regimes? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it probably is all three. I think you did an excellent summary of three factors that are involved, and let me quickly respond.

The Arab revolutions which have swept the region hold such great promise. But I don’t think that you go from a top-down society that often imposed oppressive regulations and punishments on people for expressing themselves to a democracy overnight. And so when you look at the trajectory, this will take some time, and there has to be a combination of persistence and patience, and I would hope that the opposition demonstrators are demonstrating because they want to participate in the political process, not to derail it. Part of our problem is that there are elements within the countries, certainly in North Africa, who don’t believe in democracy, who don’t believe in equal rights for women and men, who don’t believe that there can be cooperation among people who have different points of view. That has to be overcome.

Now, Lebanon, which has suffered for so many years, as you all know better than I, has this uneasy balance in your democracy, but so far it has sustained the stability of your country. So different countries will reach different conclusions about how to fashion and manage their democracy, but everyone should stand against those who wish to hijack it, whether they are internal or external, who believe that their extremist point of view should cancel out everyone else’s point of view, and really stand up and speak out and work toward what were the aspirations of the people, particularly the young people who stood up and said, “We want a better, different life.”

MS. ABUSULAYMAN: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Of course, extremism is something that we actually have to deal with a lot in the Middle East, and is something that needs to be negotiated quite delicately. And I think the second question from one of our students will lead to that.

QUESTION: Good afternoon. Ahmadin Mohaissen, American University of Beirut. I would like to ask you: With the recent reelection of Benjamin Netanyahu, the chances of peace are almost negligible. Out of your experience, what’s needed to achieve to the most comprehensive and long-lasting peace in the Middle East? What about the role of the USA? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I actually think that this election opens doors, not nails them shut. I think the outcome of the election in which a significant percentage of the Israeli electorate chose to express themselves by saying, “We need a different path than the one we have been pursuing internally and with respect to the Middle East peace process.” So I know that President Obama, my successor, soon-to-be Secretary of State John Kerry, will pursue this, will look for every possible opening.

I have been involved in, one way or another, working toward peace for more than 20 years, first with my husband, then as a senator, now as Secretary of State. And what rests at the core of the problem is great mistrust, great concern on both sides, because I also speak frequently with our Palestinian counterparts. And somehow, we have to look for ways to give the Palestinian people the pathway to peace, prosperity, and statehood that they deserve and give the Israeli people the security and stability that they seek. I think that still is possible, and I can assure you the United States under President Obama will continue to do everything we can to move the parties toward some resolution.

MS. SALES: We’re going to leave Beirut there for now, Muna and the people there. Thank you so much. I mentioned before that maybe we would have some technical issues, and as you could see with the audio there, we did indeed. And also, please just bear with the delay that you have when you’re traveling enormous distances like this.

Let’s go across the other side of the world now to NHK in Tokyo, Japan’s national public broadcaster, where the director of the international news division, Kenji Kohno, is ready with a question.

MR. KOHNO: Good evening from Tokyo. Madam Secretary, thank you very much for this opportunity to talk to you again. We have here a group of 10 Japanese college students, very good students, and let me turn this microphone to them. They have some questions. So who wants to ask the first question? Okay. Here you go.

QUESTION: Hello, Madam Secretary. I’m Yuki Kao coming from the University of Tokyo, so I would like to ask about the future of U.S.-Japan economic relationship. It is widely said that the U.S.-Japan relationship, especially in the field of economy, are becoming weaker and weaker. In my opinion, it is because a lot of Japanese companies are switching their focus onto the emerging markets in Asia.

So how can we reinforce or maintain the U.S.-Japan relationship? Could the Trans-Pacific Partnership be one of the solutions?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m glad you mentioned that at the end of your question, because I certainly believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership holds great benefits for Japan’s economy. And it is true that the United States and Japan have both expanded economically on a broader scale, which of course is necessary because consumers in the middle class in many emerging democracies or emerging economies are now demanding more goods and services.

But I think the Japanese-U.S. relationship is a very secure one, and what we want is to look for new ways that we can work together on behalf of our common values and our hopes for the future. I highly appreciate the excellent working relationship that I’ve had over the last four years with my Japanese counterparts. But I think you’re right to point out that in today’s world, we have to be more creative, innovative, open and transparent about our economies, because Japan and the United States have comparative advantage. We’re high tech, we have highly educated workforces. In order to keep producing jobs and rising incomes, we have to be smart about how we use our economies. So I think the Trans-Pacific Partnership is one way that could really enhance our relationship.

MR. KOHNO: Madam Secretary, let me add my questions, which is on the possibly imminent nuclear test by North Korea. North Korea has still threatened to do this, but your spokesperson said that if they do, the U.S. would take very significant action. I wonder what this significant action means, and I wonder this – more – simply more sanctions would be enough to stop their provocations?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you for that, because we, of course, share Japan’s concerns and the concerns of the entire region about what the new regime in North Korea is doing and threatening. And let me express my regret, because I think with a new young leader we all expected something different. We expected him to focus on improving the lives of the North Korean people, not just the elite, but everyone to have more education, more openness, more opportunity. And instead, he has engaged in very provocative rhetoric and behavior.

So we did go to the United Nations after the missile launch, and with very good work on behalf of our teams, we came up with additional and much tougher sanctions. But we’re going to have to work closely together to try to change the behavior of the North Korean regime. I’ve had long conversations with my Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Chinese counterparts, because this is a threat to all of us. And it is something that is so regrettable when young people the world over, including in North Korea, are getting better connected with the rest of the world, to remain as closed off and denied the opportunities they should have.

So it’s going to be a lengthy consultation. I don’t want to preview what the outcome might be in terms of actions that would have to be taken, because we still hope that there is a way to convince the North Korean regime not to pursue this path.

MR. KOHNO: Now, let me have a student to have the second question. Who wants to have the second question? Okay, you.

QUESTION: Good evening, Madam Secretary. I’m Yosuke Kawanebe from Tokyo University of Science. As mentioned, I think Japan and U.S. will need to have stronger relationships in the future. And I’m an entrepreneur, and I feel our generation is now taking over important positions in politics and businesses. So I want to ask your advice for younger people who want to become leaders, tomorrow’s leaders in the future.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m so happy you asked that question because I think that is something every young person should be considering, particularly in a democracy like Japan. There are many roads to leadership. You mentioned being interested in entrepreneurship. Those kinds of business investment opportunities are leadership ones – starting businesses, building businesses, creating employment. That has to go hand in hand with whatever the political leadership is able to do.

And I believe strongly that we need to open up all of our economies, knock down barriers to the participation of young people, of women. I think you can take any economy in the world, including mine and including yours, and see that there are still barriers to the dreams of young business leaders. And I hope that in the next few years, we will do more to open up our markets, open up credit, clear away the barriers so that a young man like yourself will have a chance to make a real contribution to your country’s economy.

MS. SALES: That’s where we’re going to leave Tokyo; wonderful to see that enthusiasm there with the hands. We might take a Facebook question that we received, Secretary Clinton. It was received in Farsi from Rasoul Alashkari.

It said: I’m glad she – meaning you – has regained her health. My only question is if you have issues with the Government of Iran, why destroy the people with the current sanctions in place? It’s very difficult to find medicine in Iran. Where is your sense of humanity?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say on the medicine and on food and other necessities, there are no sanctions. And what we have tried to do, and in fact, I have approved the sending of medicines to Iran for exactly the purpose that is pointed out. We do not want the people of Iran to suffer and certainly to be deprived of necessary medicines. But this is a dilemma for us, and for the entire world, because when I say “us,” I’m not talking only about the United States. But if you look at the United Nations sanctions, the European Union sanctions, across the globe, people are very worried about what the Iranian Government’s actions and intentions are.

We know that there is a lot of support for terrorism by the Iranian Government. We know they send out agents and proxies across the world to do bombings and assassinations. That’s deeply troubling. And we also know that their pursuit of a nuclear weapon would be incredibly dangerous to Iran, to the region and the world.

So we have tried diplomatic outreach. President Obama came into office saying that he wanted to engage in diplomacy with Iran to see if there were a way to end their nuclear weapons program. And we hope that that will still be possible. And we think the people of Iran, in their upcoming election, have the opportunity to send a very clear message. Iranian people are educated, intelligent, historically significant; they deserve to have a government that integrates them into the world, not isolates from the world. So we hope that the Iranian people will speak out and make known their views to their own government.

MS. SALES: Secretary Clinton, let’s see if we can go now to Bogota, in Colombia, to journalist Andrea Bernal. She interviewed you in 2010 in Ecuador, and she’s at NTN24, which is a 24-hour news channel based in South America.


We’ll just wait for the audio to come up on that. Hopefully we can get it. No, we might just see if we can go somewhere else while we wait for that to come up. Let’s go for a Twitter question, Secretary Clinton. We have one here from @ManxNige, Nigel Walker to the State Department: “Can you tell me why the USA didn’t engage with the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza?”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, because we believe, and there’s unfortunately a lot of evidence to support this, that Hamas is not interested in democracy, not interested in political participation and pursuits, but instead is largely still a military resistance group. And we’ve made it very clear that if Hamas renounces violence, if they morph themselves into a political entity the way that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority have, from the origins in the PLO. If they accept the previous commitments by the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, there’s a place for them at the table. And it would be my great hope that they would do that.

MS. SALES: We’ve had an email question that’s come in from the Antarctic.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, the Antarctic. (Laughter.)

MS. SALES: We’re going everywhere in this discussion —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, my goodness.

MS. SALES: — all around the world. From Marcelo Leppe, a Chilean scientist, he wants to ask if your government has defined any position about the future of the mineral resources in Antarctica.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Excellent question, and hello to everybody in Antarctica. It’s the one continent I haven’t been to so I’m very jealous that you’re down there. (Laughter.) We are working on that. We want the same kind of international agreements and enforcement that has preserved the Antarctic as an international treasure and resource for research and scientific experimentation. I think it’s an important question to raise. I thank you for doing so. I hope that we’ll make progress in order to protect the treasure of the Antarctic that belongs to all of us.

MS. SALES: Let’s have one more Twitter question. It’s from @OliverSB022: “Which former Secretary of State does Hillary Clinton most admire and why?”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, well, if I say any of my recent successors, I will lose friends, which I don’t want to do. (Laughter.) But I will say that one of the people who I especially admire and am identifying with is Secretary Seward, who was President Lincoln’s Secretary of State. And he was from New York. He was a very successful politician from New York when he became Secretary of State. He had run against President Lincoln – (laughter) – so there’s a little bit of parallel here in the whole team-of-rivals concept. And if anyone has seen the Steven Spielberg movie, “Lincoln,” you see Secretary Seward by Lincoln’s side the whole time, advising and supporting him. And in fact, the night that President Lincoln was assassinated, the conspirators broke into his house and tried to kill him. So I don’t want that to happen to anybody – (laughter ) – but I like his willingness to work with President Lincoln, he made a real difference during our civil war, and I admire him greatly.

MS. SALES: We will try to go to Colombia again shortly, we’re just having some technical issues getting that up. So instead let’s swing over to London, to the BBC, where Ros Atkins is waiting. He’s the presenter of the BBC World Service program “World Have Your Say.” Ros, tells us who’s with you there.

MR. ATKINS: Leigh, hi. And, Secretary Clinton, you’re very welcome to the BBC’s new home here in London. I’ve got five guests; they come from Britain, Greece, Germany and Italy. And our first question is from Carolina.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, my name is Carolina. I come from Turin, in Italy. And I wanted to ask you, what do you think is the most powerful diplomatic tool? Do you think that it’s more economic preponderance or legitimacy in international status, or perhaps just access to the media? And would you have given me the same answer four years ago?

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a great question. I think all three are different and they are used differently at different times. Certainly one of my responsibilities, when I became Secretary of State, was to restore American leadership in the world. It had been somewhat damaged and we needed to get out there and reach out to people, demonstrate our willingness to be everywhere in the world, working with people who shared our values and our aspirations, solving crises, doing what we could to deal with many of the underlying problems.

It’s also very important, however, to focus on technology and communication because four years ago, that was not part of diplomacy. We have brought a lot of the tools of modern technology – social media – into the State Department. In fact, we’re using them now with Twitter and Facebook. Because there needs to be a two-way conversation. It’s no longer governments just talking at people, whether it’s talking at other leaders or talking at populations. There has to be a dialogue and people are hungry for that, young people in particular. They deserve to have their views heard and acted on as we shape the world for the future. So these are the kinds of considerations that we are constantly balancing, and we need to do a better job, frankly, at those tools you mentioned and others that have to be deployed.

MR. ATKINS: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much for answering Carolina’s question. We certainly appreciate the chance to connect BBC viewers and listeners with you today. Our next question comes from Octavia, who’s from Germany.

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary. My name is Octavia. I’m from Frankfurt, in Germany.

My question is the following: The Obama Administration has stressed its intentions to reset and improve its relationship with Russia. So far, however, it seems like this project has failed, if we think, for example, of recent disputes over Russia’s stance towards the Assad regime in Syria, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the Magnitsky bill. In your opinion, do the United States need Europe as an intermediary in order to achieve a relationship of mutual trust and cooperation with Russia one day?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, another excellent question. I think it’s not either/or. The United States has a very important bilateral relationship with Russia. During the last four years, we got a new nuclear weapons agreement to decrease our stockpiles, we worked together to enhance our efforts in Afghanistan, we had a bilateral commission that didn’t draw headlines but produced results in many areas of mutual interest and concern.

But it’s also important that we work with Europe and that Europe also work to make sure that we try to shape and create a positive relationship with Russia. And I will admit it is challenging right now. Russia ended all of our aid programs where we were working on ending tuberculosis, helping abused children, and so much else.

So it’s going to have to be a mutual effort, Europe and the United States both bilaterally and together, working to try to persuade Russia and particularly Russian leadership that they should become more integrated into and connected with Europe and the West. That’s where the future lies, and we hope that the next few years will be more successful doing that.

MR. ATKINS: (Inaudible) Octavia’s question, and I should mention that before this program began, we all sat around discussing the kind of questions everyone here would like to ask you, and one came up a number of times. Sahara is a British Pakistanian; you were suggesting this one.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, my name is Sahara Sawar. I’m from Dubai, but a British Pakistani. My biggest question to you was: Firstly, are you planning on writing your memoirs already? And if you are following in the footsteps of Madeleine Albright in hers, where she said that her lasting regret was what happened in Rwanda, what would you say was your lasting regret?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, certainly, the loss of American lives in Benghazi was something that I deeply regret and am working hard to make sure we do everything we can to prevent.

When you do these jobs, you have to understand at the very beginning that you can’t control everything. There are terrible situations right now being played out in the Congo, Syria, where we all wish that there were clear paths that we could follow together in the international community to try to resolve. So every day is a mixture of trying to end crises, help people be smart about using the tools of American diplomacy and development to join in with others who are facing similar crises as we are.

But I take away far more positive memories. And yes, I will write a memoir. I don’t know what I’ll say in it yet, but – (laughter) – I’ll have a chance to go into greater detail on this and other matters.

MS. SALES: That’s where we’ll leave London, and we will pick up instead in New Delhi, to NDTV, which is one of India’s top broadcasters, and presenter Barkha Dutt, India’s top female journalist and news anchor, who did one of these events with you, Secretary Clinton, last year.

Barkha, are you there with us?

MS. DUTT: I absolutely am. And Secretary Clinton, good evening from India. It’s an absolute pleasure to be talking with you again. We all remember that wonderful town hall with you in Kolkata on your last trip here to India. I have here with me a bunch of very bright young students all itching to ask you a question.

But before I take my microphone to the students, just by way of comment, Secretary Clinton, I know despite all your denials, all of us are waiting to see you back in political action in 2016 as possibly – (laughter) – the United States’ first woman president. So I’m not saying that as a question. I’m just observing that we think – (laughter) – that might happen. Great to have you on the show, Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good to see you again. Thank you so much.

MS. DUTT: I notice that you didn’t answer that. I’ll try get a little more out of you as this program goes along.

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) That’s why you’re such a good journalist, Barkha.

MS. DUTT: We have a lot of people here – (laughter) – thank you. And I will probe that a little further, but I’m going to hand over the mike to a young boy on my right who has a question for you, Secretary Clinton.

QUESTION: Thank you. Good evening, ma’am. My question concerns the recent Richard Headley case and the sentence that was handed out.

MS. DUTT: David Headley.

QUESTION: Sorry, David Headley case and the sentence that was handed out to him. Given that he’s pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the 26/11 attacks, why is America so hesitant to extradite him to India?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is not directly under my jurisdiction, but I will say this: There was intensive amount of investigation and interrogation of him by Indian authorities as well as American authorities. A lot of useful information was obtained, and I think that this sentence represents both the punishment that he richly deserves for his participation, but also a recognition of the role that he has played and is expected to continue to play in supporting Indian and American efforts to prevent the kind of horrific attack that occurred in Mumbai.

MS. DUTT: Secretary Clinton, if I can just pick up on that question by this young boy here, I know that when we were doing the town hall in Kolkata, you assured Indians that it was you who had cleared the $10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed’s head, who, as you know, is a key architect of the Lashkar-e Tayyiba, the terrorist group. You also spoke about al-Zawahiri being in Pakistan according to your information.

I know a lot of people in India want to hear from you tonight. When you look back at your term, are you satisfied with the success that you were able to achieve in bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice? Or are you left with a sense of regret? Are you left with a sense that more could have been done, and somehow you didn’t have enough time or weren’t able to put enough pressure on Pakistan to get it done?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Barkha, I think it is unfinished business that we are not in any way walking away from. I’m leaving office, but I can assure you and the Indian people this remains one of our very highest priorities.

We were successful in capturing and eliminating a number of the most dangerous terrorists who have safe haven inside Pakistan. We have continued to press the Pakistani Government, because of course the terrorists inside Pakistan are first and foremost an ongoing threat to the stability of Pakistan, and they need to deal with it because of that, as well as the implications for India, Afghanistan, the United States, and elsewhere.

I also think that the efforts that both Prime Minister Singh and President Zardari in Pakistan have made to improve communication, business, trade, commerce between India and Pakistan helps to create a more receptive environment for dealing with these serious threats. So of course, I’m not satisfied. As I told you in Kolkata, I believe going after terrorism is an obligation of every country, everywhere, every sensible person. We can have disagreements, but they cannot be in any way using violence or condoning the use of violence.

So we’re not giving up. We are on this job literally every single day. And we’ve improved our information sharing, our law enforcement cooperation with India, and I think that will pay dividends in years to come.

MS. DUTT: We’re testing (inaudible).

MS. SALES: Just lost audio to Barkha there. Let’s see if we can get that back up because it would be great to hear one more question from India if we can.

MS. DUTT: As you must know, we’ve been seeing street protests by young students here related to the horrific gang rape that took place in Delhi recently, and gender rights are really on the top of public consciousness here in India. So, a question from this young boy here.

QUESTION: So my question to you is this: Why is it that women in politics, even in supposedly progressive societies like the United States, have to conform to masculinist and privileged constructions of a statesman in the public sphere? And I must ask you, how difficult is it for a woman politician to access political space that is heavily gendered and that dictates how a woman leader has to behave and conduct herself?

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) That could be a topic for a whole show because it’s a profound question, but let me make two brief points. First, although it is better than it was, having been in and around politics for many years now, there is still a double standard. And it is a double standard that exists from the trivial, like what you wear, to the incredibly serious, like women can’t vote, women can’t run for office, women are not supposed to be in the public sphere. But there is a spectrum of the double standard, and of the both legal and cultural barriers to respect for women, for the full participation of women.

So we do have a ways to go, and even in democracies. And a democracy like yours, unlike mine, that’s had a woman leader and has a woman at the head of the current governing party where women have achieved a lot of political success, there is still a tremendous amount of discrimination and just outright abuse of women, particularly uneducated women, women who can’t stand up for themselves, but clearly, even as we saw in the terrible gang rape, a woman trying to better herself, go to school.

Secondly, this has been the cause of my life and will continue to be as I leave the Secretary of State’s office, because we are hurting ourselves. The young woman who essentially was raped and then died of her terrible injuries, who knows what she could have contributed to India’s future? When you put barriers in the way of half the population, you, in effect, are putting brakes on your own development as a nation.

And there is more than adequate research to prove this, but just in a personal, everyday life example, I’m looking at one of the leading journalists in the world, certainly one of the leading journalists in India, Barkha. She brings to her job her experiences that are then infusing the coverage that she provides. And if you lose that kind of perspective, you are really doing a disservice to your society. So I personally was very encouraged and even proud to see young men and young women out in the streets protesting the way that young women are treated by men who do not understand or have never been taught to accept that it’s not just their sisters and their mothers that they should respect, but all girls and women. So I’m looking for big changes in India in the years to come.

MS. SALES: Thank you, Secretary Clinton, and thank you Barkha and our friends in India. Now, I can already tell you, we’re probably going to have some technical issues with this but we would really like to try to go to Lagos in Nigeria. So let’s give it a go. We have some people there at Channels Television, and news presenter Maupe Ogun is waiting with some young people.

Maupe, can you hear us?

MS. OGUN: Yes, I can, loudly, too. Well, it’s a pleasure to be here, and I’m joined by a group of people who have warned me not to call them young boys or girls. (Laughter.) They’re all young professionals and we’re absolutely delighted to be a part of this conversation. Well, Madam Secretary, I’m going to take my first question, and it’s from in-house. We’re asking that, in 2009, when President Obama did visit Ghana, he said that what Africa needed was strong institutions, not strongmen, something that you’ve also echoed as well. Can you uphold any models in Africa where you can say that they’re making progress in building strong institutions?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, and in fact, both politically and economically, I see progress happening in Africa. I don’t want to overstate it because some places are more stable, but let me give you just an example or two. When the President of Malawi recently died, the Vice President – now President Banda – was in line to become President. But there was an immediate reaction by some in the government and some in society who said, we can’t have a woman president, or we don’t agree with her politics. But thankfully, the people of Malawi said, no, we have a constitution, we want the rule of law, we want Joyce Banda to be the President since she is in line to be President. That was a big move, and it was very important, and we obviously supported it.

When you look at the reelection of President Sirleaf in Liberia – tough job, post-conflict society, but peaceful transition despite a hard-fought election. The recent election in Ghana, another example where President Atta had passed away, his Vice President came into office, but he still had to go through an election. So when you look through the countries in Africa, you can see democratic institutions getting stronger and you can see economies getting stronger. Now, you are sitting in one of the most important countries in Africa – I would say in the world. It really matters how well the next election in Nigeria goes, whether it’s free and fair and transparent. It really matters whether the endemic corruption is finally pursued so that everybody in Nigeria feels that they’re not going to be left out.

So I think there is work being done and challenges ahead, but I see positive steps that I want to recognize.

MS. OGUN: Well, we’ll take the next question now. Chude would like to ask the next question.

QUESTION: Right. Hello, Madam Secretary. Congratulations on the spectacular run and we’re looking forward to the next one in 2016. But moving on quickly, when you look at the things that have happened in – I mean, some the crises in Mali or South Sudan or Benghazi, Libya, some people have said that the U.S. has led from behind mostly, and perhaps that’s a mistake in some of these cases. What would you say is the biggest mistake? I (inaudible) even though you’ve had the June 2012 review. What would you say is the biggest mistake that you – that has happened over the past few years, and how will the incoming Secretary of State be able to work on those issues moving forward after you’re gone?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me clarify that I think what President Obama and I have tried to do is to build international coalitions to address serious crises. We believe that, of course, the United States remains the paramount military and economic power in the world, but the future we want to see are more nations taking responsibility and playing a role. And I think that is visionary leadership. I think it is looking over the horizon and recognizing that in Africa, for example, what we hope to see are key countries, anchor countries like Nigeria, dealing with your own internal challenges, but also playing a role externally in order to help keep and create peace.

We just had a quite successful outcome in Somalia. Still a long way to go for Somalia, but thanks to African troops – from Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya – trained and funded by the United States along with others, they were able to push al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate, out of key cities and territory in Somalia, and then we were able to have an election. So we now have an elected government for the first time in many decades, and we want to support that. Because one thing that President Obama and I believe is that ultimately what happens inside a country is up to the people of that country; they are the ones who have to stand up against oppression, corruption, the kind of poor governance that holds countries back. The United States wants to be your partner. We want to help you economically and in other ways. But we want to create the conditions where more countries can achieve the kind of outcomes that will benefit them.

So it’s a different model than what we had in the prior Administration to the Obama Administration. But we believe strongly in supporting reform in Burma, for example, where I was privileged to go to make a statement and then accompany President Obama back there, to helping Mali fend off these extremists who are trying to disrupt and destabilize the country. But we want other people to step up and learn more about what they are capable of doing themselves.

MS. SALES: Okay, we’re going to leave Nigeria there and we will take another Twitter question, Secretary Clinton. This one was received via Sina Weibo, which is the Chinese sort of micro-blogging network, like Twitter. It’s from somebody named “Terracotta Warriors on Horseback.” (Laughter.) The question is: “Do you not think that competition between the United States and China in Asia will not lead to both sides losing?”

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, I don’t. I think healthy competition is part of development, human nature. I don’t see any problem with healthy competition as long as it is rules-based. Healthy competition requires that everybody know what the rules are, and then you go out and compete, whether it’s on the sporting field or in the economic or political arena.

My hope – and I have written about this, I’ve spoken about it – is that the United States and China will together defy history. Historically, a rising power and a predominant power have had clashes, whether they were economic or military. Neither of us want to see that happen. We want to see a rising power like China join the international community as a responsible stakeholder, continue its extraordinary efforts to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, create a strong, vital middle class, have respectful relations with its neighbors in all of the ways on land and sea that that is required.

And the United States wants to deepen and broaden our engagement with China. I helped to put together the strategic and economic dialogues, which we then used to discuss everything, from border security to food safety to cyber matters. And we want to continue that, because we believe strongly that the world is big enough for a lot of nations to be important players, and that is certainly true of China, and we want to see the kind of cooperative, comprehensive, positive relationship that I worked for.

MS. SALES: We’re still desperately hoping we can get up the Bogota satellite, but in the meantime we’ll take one quick question again from London once more. So Ros, are you standing by there?

MR. ATKINS: I am. Hello, Leigh. Secretary Clinton, our next question comes from Elisa, who’s German. It’s as much a plea as a question, I think.

QUESTION: Yes, very much. Dear Madam Secretary, I’m Elisa from Germany, and just before the show, we’ve been talking about how we would really like you to run for president. And we were wondering when you’re going to make a decision on this really important question, and we believe that would be a really important symbol for women essentially all over the world. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am not thinking about anything like that right now. I am looking forward to finishing up my tenure as Secretary of State and then catching up on about 20 years of sleep deprivation. (Laughter.)

In fact, you say you’re from Germany. I spoke this morning to your chancellor, Chancellor Merkel, and someone I have admired and watched over a number of years. I do want to see more women compete for the highest positions in their countries, and I will do what I can, whether or not it is up to me to make a decision on my own future. I right now am not inclined to do that, but I will do everything I can to make sure that women compete at the highest levels not only in the United States, but around the world, because I take seriously your question, and I think it’s not only for young women; it’s for young men, it’s for our future.

We have to break down these attitudes that kind of pigeonhole and stereotype people. Like what does a leader look like; well, a leader looks like somebody who’s a man. And in so many ways around the world today, sitting here with a journalist from Australia, which has a woman prime minister, women are subjecting themselves to the political process, which is never easy anywhere, and I want to see more of that. You have to have a thick skin. I will tell you that. But it’s really important that women are out there competing at the highest levels of government and business not only to demonstrate the capacity and quality of women’s leadership, but also to take advantage of the talents of every person we have.

MS. SALES: All right. Let’s see if we can get lucky now with Bogota, and journalist Andrea Bernal hopefully is able to speak to us this time. Andrea, are you there?

MS. BERNAL: Leigh, how are you? I’m here. Thanks again for giving us the entrance. Good morning, Mrs. Secretary Hillary Clinton.


MS. BERNAL: Thanks for being here with us at NTN24, the international news network for the Hispanic audience. We had the chance to have a conversation back three years ago in Quito, Ecuador. Thanks for being again with us here.

I would want to start with a question. Barack Obama’s government and you as a Secretary of head – State have led an international policy acknowledging the fact that the United States is not the only powerful nation in the world, recognizing the relevant roles of other countries in the world’s order, and considering dialogue as the right path. However, Latin America does not seem still to be a high priority for the United States. If it were in your decision, in your hands, how could the United States build a closer, more productive relationship with Latin America?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I want to say very clearly that Latin America has been a very high priority. I have spent a lot of time, as you know when I saw you in Ecuador, traveling throughout Latin America. We want to build on a couple of very important initiatives that the United States is partnering on.

One is energy. We are working hard to help bring greater access to affordable energy to all of Latin America. In fact, we’re working very closely with Colombia to do that, to come down from Mexico all the way down through Chile as well as in the Caribbean. We are working on climate change together, because a lot of the Latin American countries are quite advanced in using alternative forms of energy. We’re working on security now, particularly in Central America. The United States, Mexico, and Colombia are working to help our neighbors in Central America. We’re working on expanding education. I want to see many more students from Latin America coming to the United States and more students from the United States coming to Latin America. We’re working on technology transfers. So there’s a long list of what we’re working on.

But I must say, in part because Latin America is doing so well, your countries are resolving old problems and making progress democratically and economically. A lot of the conflict that was present decades ago has been resolved, and so it’s not a relationship that’s in the headlines all the time, because it’s so positive. We spend time working together. We don’t have to worry about threats to democracy, to security that have unfortunately found their way around the world. So I think we have a very close working relationship. I want it to be even closer. I’m working with President Obama for some second term initiatives that I think will be more headline comprehensive initiatives so that everybody knows how much we value our relationships with our closest neighbors.

MS. SALES: We’ve unfortunately lost —

MS. BERNAL: (Inaudible) a business management student at the University of Tolima in Colombia.

MS. SALES: Andrea, can you repeat that, please? Here we go.

QUESTION: Hi, Ms. Clinton. Well, it’s a pleasure to have you here. And since we have you here, I would like to ask you about democracy. Okay. Latin America, it’s currently experiencing an economic breakthrough that has helped most country in the region reduce poverty. However, it is not clear if this economic progress has actually strengthened our democracies.

So now with that in mind, the question would be: How do you evaluate the diverse democracies in our region, and how do you see our future?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think I see a lot of progress, but still work that needs to be done. If you look at Colombia, you are not the country you were 15 years ago. You have consolidated democracy. You – I know President Santos is attempting to try to negotiate a peace agreement so that people will turn away from violence and participate politically. In Mexico, we see great economic growth but also a very vibrant political system in the last election. In Brazil, similarly, we see the same kind of trends. There are others that you can point to.

But there are some outliers. Unfortunately, we still have a dictatorship in Cuba, which we hope will change soon. We have democratic challenges in other countries in Latin America. But overall, I think that progress has been made and you have to stay the course. It doesn’t happen quickly, but there is great reason to be quite optimistic about the institutionalization of democracy throughout Latin America.

MS. BERNAL: And we have a last question, Mrs. Secretary, thanks for your time, from Ana Maria Rodriguez. She’s a journalist and a student here in our studio. Ana Maria.

QUESTION: Ms. Clinton, good morning. I am Ana Maria Rodriguez. I’m a journalism student. I want to know, today, President Barack Obama will talk about immigration in Vegas. This is a very important (inaudible). And I want to know exactly, all of those immigrants at U.S., what can they expect from this speech from President Barack Obama?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they can expect that the President will put specifics behind his commitment to provide a path to citizenship for the immigrants who are here undocumented in the United States. And I was very pleased that even before the President’s speech, we had a bipartisan group of senators come out with a plan that would accomplish the same goal. So the President is very committed. We have leaders in our Congress who are very committed. And we’re going to do everything we can finally to achieve immigration reform.

MS. SALES: And that is where we’re going to leave Colombia. We have one final request today, Secretary, and we’re going to go to Australia via Skype to hear from two very serious, experienced foreign policy experts – people I know you rely on – your old mates, Hamish and Andy. (Laughter.) For those of you in the audience who don’t know, they’re Australian comedians. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, hello. Welcome.

SECRETARY CLINTON: These guys are hilarious.

QUESTION: Hamish and Andy here. It was an honor to interview you a couple of years ago. Here we are at Government House.

QUESTION: Yeah, this is it.

QUESTION: The Royal Palace here in Australia. It’s wonderful. We’re out in the back, so it’s not as fancy as it is from out in the front. But we just wanted to say, first of all, congratulations on a wonderful term as Secretary of State, and it was amazing having you out here. Certainly a career highlight for us to get to meet you. So many Australians took a lot away from your trip, Madam Secretary. We were just wondering, what was the best thing you took away from Australia?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, clearly my interview with you two.

MS. SALES: Oh, excuse me. (Laughter.) Excuse me. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible) a lot of people will accuse us of having scripted this. (Laughter.) But thank you. Obviously, someone is saying that to you in your ear.

QUESTION: We were hoping it might have been the gravy chips that we gave you, but that was part of the interview, so that’s fine. We must stress, do not eat them under any circumstances. They’re well past their use-by date.

QUESTION: They’re still poisonous.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, obviously a lot of the good questions that we had were taken earlier tonight by some of the wonderful participants around the world, but luckily we still have a few. I have a friend, and I know obviously as you’re stepping back from the Secretary of State position, I have a friend who is about 31. He’s a cute-looking brunette.

QUESTION: Just a friend.

QUESTION: He’s very good, he’s been to university. He did two degrees; he graduated from one, so that’s quite good. (Laughter.) What qualifications – let’s just say John Kerry, something comes up, he can’t do the job, he can’t be the next Secretary of State. What qualifications could I tell my friend he should put on his CV if he wants to become the Secretary of State of the United States?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think his educational background is important – the fact that he finished one degree out of two, that gives him a 50 percent record. (Laughter.) Better than most baseball players or other professional athletes. I think his good looks, that’s important. Yeah, because you’re going to be given a lot of TV time. I know you guys are radio guys, but it’s good that he doesn’t have just a face for radio. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Nothing (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: I guess, thirdly, broad travel, willingness to meet other people, listen to them, as you —

QUESTION: He loves petting zoos.

SECRETARY CLINTON: — have a lot of experience from interviewing. I would drop the gravy chips. I think the gravy chips would be misunderstood in diplomatic settings, especially since I sent them to a lab to be analyzed and you don’t want to know what’s in them. (Laughter.) So – but I think he’s got a good start here.

QUESTION: Unfortunately, gravy chips are the center of our policy, so I guess we’re (inaudible). (Laughter.) But you did say politics is about compromise, so I’m sure we could find a way there. Probably the big question on everyone’s lips is when you step back from being Secretary of State —

QUESTION: Well, she won’t be having to be called Madam Secretary.

QUESTION: You’re no longer Madam Secretary.



QUESTION: I think on behalf of all the global citizens joining in the town hall meeting tonight, which of these three names would you like to adopt? (Laughter.)

QUESTION: We spent three or four months on this.

QUESTION: The Incredible Hillary, the Artist Formerly Known as the Secretary – (laughter), or just Hill Clinton – but it does sound a bit like your husband.

QUESTION: Like Bill, yeah.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah, I think we’re going to have to work on that list. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: None. Okay.

QUESTION: None. (Laughter.) We will need another four or five months then to come back with another three at least. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: We’re going to sack it. We’re here at Government House so we can sack some of our advisors right now. (Laughter.) Junk.

QUESTION: We understand that you’ve been trying to cross to every single continent today at the town hall meeting. You haven’t got down to Antarctica. There’s one email – we’ve got a recent telegram that’s just come in here.

QUESTION: Yes, because we’re closest to Antarctica, our signals are a little bit better from them. Just a little telegram from Antarctica. I think it’s very important, obviously, that we recognize the frozen continent.


QUESTION: It says, “Dear Madam Secretary – stop. Alien spaceship reactivated – stop. Help – stop. Send” – and then that’s it.

QUESTION: That’s it. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: So what should we write back to our stricken comrades in Antarctica? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s quite distressing. I think, as your first diplomatic mission, you may have to go to Antarctica and find evidence about what happened. The person sending that to you clearly is counting on you. (Laughter.) We will be happy to provide satellite support. I don’t know how fast you can get there, and you’re going to need different clothes than the ones you have on. But I think you need to follow through on this. You guys need to go to Antarctica and broadcast from Antarctica what you find.

QUESTION: That’s nice. Can we have a —

QUESTION: That’s so late here, it’s 2:30, and these are such cheap suits. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: We’ll have a swell, and then we’ll get right on. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: We’re going to have the first (inaudible) for having that comment. (Laughter.) Thank you. Amazing advice. This is why – we always say this. This is why you’re the Secretary of State, and we are not. (Laughter.)

MS. SALES: That’s exactly why.


QUESTION: Thanks. Congratulations.

MS. SALES: I hope everyone around the world gets them.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, Leigh, I meant radio interview. Yes, great.

MS. SALES: Well, thank you. Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton. (Laughter.) I think Andy is unfortunately out of luck because while we have been talking, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has confirmed John Kerry as Secretary of State.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good. Excellent. Well, that’s good news. (Applause.)

MS. SALES: Have they hit you up for John Kerry’s number yet?

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) No, but they will.

MS. SALES: They will.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Don’t you think?

MS. SALES: They will. They absolutely will. To wrap it up, let me just ask you one question. As you prepare to hand over to John Kerry, what would you like to see American diplomacy focused on?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t think we have a choice. We have to deal with the immediate crises that come across our desk every day. We have to work on the longer-term challenges like security in North Africa. And we have to deal with what I call the trend lines, not the headlines. So continuing to use technology, women and girls, climate change, alternative energy – the kind of big projects that will have a tremendous impact on what kind of world we have. And there will be two alternative visions. If we don’t deal with climate change, food security, energy access that is sustainable, we could have increasing conflict over resources, for example. That’s not in the headlines today, but in ten years, it could be.

So when I think about the sort of buckets of responsibilities I have, very often what first comes across my desk is an attack here, a terrorist threat there, the immediate crises. And then I also am constantly asking for what are we – what do we do to get ahead of the crises, and then thirdly, what do we do that is not in those two buckets, but instead helps us shape the kind of world that these young people deserve to have.

MS. SALES: Secretary Clinton, thank you so much for making time in your schedule all throughout your term as Secretary of State to speak directly to people all around the world. And all the very best for the next leg of your journey. Thank you so much. Please thank Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, Leigh, thank you so much. You were masterful.

MS. SALES: Oh, thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Just masterful. Have you ever done anything like that, with satellites?

MS. SALES: I have done a few things.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That was really good. Thank you all.

MS. SALES: Thank you. And wherever you are in the world, thank you for your company. Goodbye.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all. (Applause.)






























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Public Schedule for January 29, 2013

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
January 29, 2013




9:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton holds a “Global Townterview” where she will engage with people around the world by interacting live with audience members from six international outlets as well as through Twitter, Skype, Facebook and YouTube, at the Newseum.
Please click here for information on how to view the livestream and for broadcast satellite coordinates.

12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, at the White House.

5:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends a meeting at the White House.

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Secretary Clinton and Leaders from Thirteen Organizations Sign “Declaration of Learning” on Historic Treaty of Paris Desk

Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 28, 2013

On Wednesday, January 30th, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and leaders of thirteen government agencies and NGO’s will sign the “Declaration of Learning” on the historic Treaty of Paris desk in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the U.S. Department of State. The signing formally announces their partnership as members of the Inter-Agency Collaboration on Learning.

Led by the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the U.S. Department of State, the signing ceremony will recognize the institutions for their commitment to work together to utilize historic artifacts in their collections, as well as their educational expertise, to create digital learning tools that can be accessed from computers, tablets, and cell phones. Non-digital learning tools will also be created for classroom and public use.

This initiative will give students, teachers, and life-long learners the opportunity to explore historic objects and access new learning resources digitally, helping ensure that tomorrow’s leaders better understand the events, ideas, and movements that have shaped our country and the world. The group has selected “Diplomacy” as the first topic around which learning resources will be created. A new topic will be selected every two years.

The institutions participating in the Inter-Agency Collaboration on Education and signing the Declaration of Learning include: National Archives, Library of Congress, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institutions, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Newseum, American Library Association, National Center for Literacy Education, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the U.S. Department of State.

This ceremony will also honor Secretary Clinton for her role in making this possible through the completion of the $20 million “Patrons of Diplomacy” initiative, which established the first permanent endowment for the Diplomatic Reception Rooms and the initial funding to launch educational initiatives to share the Diplomatic Rooms, their historic objects, and the work that occurs in the Rooms with people around the world. 

The event will begin at 10 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State.

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Before she has even left the State Department (her last day there will be Friday),  a Hillary Clinton SuperPac has been formed.  Don’t get all excited, though.  HRC has not said she will run.  It may take awhile for her to get her bearings after leaving the carousel she has been on for six-and-a-half years, on the campaign trail while still at the Senate, and flying around the world as Secretary of  State with packed schedules at every stop and not always knowing what day or time it was.

We are ready for Hillary to get off her high wire, rest, recuperate, and decide what she really wants to do.  (Though it breaks our hearts that we will not be seeing her for awhile.)  We hope that when she does emerge from her cocoon  she keeps us in the loop somehow about what she is working on.  Meanwhile,  some enterprising folks called Ready for Hillary have registered with the FEC … just in case.

They have a Facebook page and a Twitter account where you can follow their progress.

By Michael Beckel

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s political future may not be clear, but her backers have already created a new super PAC to support a potential 2016 presidential bid.

A group called “Ready for Hillaryregistered Friday with the Federal Election Commission. Its chairperson? Allida Black, a George Washington University professor and historian, who has been a vocal Clinton supporter for years.

Read more >>>>

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